Audit of Business Continuity Plan and Facilitation of a Incident Management exercise

Wales & West Utilities

The Situation

Wales and West Utilities (WWU) is a gas distribution business covers one sixth of the UK with a catchment area of 7.4 million customers. WWU had developed a draft Business Continuity Plan.

The Challenge

WWU required an independent review and sanity check of the current Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and assistance with completion of the plan.

The Solution

John Eary undertook a document review of the company’s current Business Continuity plans against BS 25999 and commercial best practice.

John produced a gap analysis of WWU's Business Continuity Plan against the standard was provided additional findings, recommendations and advice on conducting a Business Continuity Planning exercise.

Consequently John was asked to devised and facilitate an  exercise to test WWU's Business Continuity Plan The exercise was to provide an assessment of the performance of Emergency Team in dealing with a major incident.

The Results

The exercise provided the opportunity to: 

  • Test the Business Continuity Plan relating to roles of the Emergency Team;
  • Enable senior managers to gain experience of roles;
  • Assess the competency of people in supporting roles;
  • Assess the speed of decision making, whether decisions are thought through; and
  • Encourage ownership of the Business Continuity manual.

The exercise also provided the opportunity to test a controlled evacuation of all staff and visitors from WWU’s head office.

A post-exercise review report was produced to assess the performance of the Emergency Committee measured against existing Crisis Management Team objectives. The exercise was regarded as successful and the objectives of the exercise were met. This report also included:

  • General feedback;
  • Additions and recommended changes to the current Business Continuity manual;
  • Prioritised Actions;
  • Recommendations for future exercises.


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